Official Government Communication

Week of June 25th - July 1st

Dear Friend,

There is a lot happening at the State Capitol and it is my hope that this email will help you stay in touch with your government. As your Senator, I truly believe in public service. If there is anything my office can do to assist you, please feel free to contact us.

Here to serve,      

Sen. Lena Taylor

4th District


Cooking in Caroline's Kitchen Sunday, I was a guest sous chef with Caroline's Raw Creations Interactive Healthy Cooking Class over at Pete's Food Market, in the Bronzeville neighborhood. It was a great opportunity to further learn the health benefits of vegan and raw food. This was a lively demonstration presented in a format that was fun and easy to get engaged with. I look forward to learning more and am excited about the ability to connect it to my work on Urban Agriculture. The host has been cooking with raw food since 2005, when her friend happened to bring her to a raw cooking class for fun. Since then, she has immersed herself in the raw food movement and its many health benefits. With the help of her daughter, she turned her hobby into a business. They created Eden's Market, co-hosted an eight-part cooking show for Milwaukee Public Television, and wrote a cook book together. Today, she hosts cooking classes in Milwaukee.


F.I.R.E. week, I attended the F.I.R.E. (Females In Recognition Of Excellence) Awards. This red carpet event is all about celebrating Milwaukee's own. My Sista's KeepHer (MSK) honored six women and students from the community, who were nominated by the community. The high energy celebration included a variety of live entertainment and the opportunity to be inspired by people who embody the Arts, Entrepreneurship, Community Involvement, Image, Sisterhood, and Perseverance.




Giving Honor Sunday, I was pleased to join community members at a Jazz/Poetry brunch to honor Interim Milwaukee Health Commissioner Dr. Pat McManus. It was only fitting to take time to honor the work of this public health advocate, who has been instrumental in the effort to to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in Milwaukee's infant mortality rate. In accepting her award, McManus said "my ONLY pledge is to the community! I only know how to speak truth to power!"



Sown on Good Soil: Faith-based Urban Ag Project, I met with a faith-based representative from Crossing Jordan Ministry to discuss the possibility of the Church taking on an urban agriculture project in the Milwaukee community. We talked about the resources and scholarships available to support the project, and the way it could intersect with my own LOVE Initiative. Another connection made and hopefully another opportunity created for the people of Milwaukee!



Judgment of the Judge week, a huge topic of conversation has been the sentence handed down by Judge Stephen Ehlke in the case of Alec Cook. A former UW-Madison student, Cook was sentenced to only three years in prison for sexually assaulting three women and strangling or choking two others. Initially, Cook faced 23 charges involving 11 different women. Even with paired down charges, he could have been sentenced to 40 years in prison. The prosecution asked for 19 and a half years, and Judge Ehlke sentenced him to three.

I, among others, am concerned about many aspects of this case and the message it sends. In particular, three years is equal to roughly 7 months for each women's case. Also alarming is data that shows sex offenders in cases involving UW-Madison, are often given lighter sentences when compared to others in the area. Another concern is the questionable racial disparities in sentencing demonstrated by Judge Ehlke over the years. In a previous case, Ehlke sentenced a 16 year old African-American teenager with one charge of sexual assault to 20 years in prison. This teen, like Cook, had no criminal history. Given that the Sentencing Project has found marked racial disparities in cases like this, the difference in treatment is noteworthy.


NOBEL Conference weekend, I have the pleasure of attending the NOBEL Women Annual Legislative Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. NOBEL Women is a non-profit, non-partisan organization made up of former and current black elected legislative women from around the nation. Originally, when NOBEL was created in 1985, the goal was to increase the number of black women working in the government. Today, they continue to work towards this aspiration but have also expanded to address the underlying factors that lead to disparities for women and the black community. The conference will include topics like solutions to housing disparities, the income gap, healthcare access, and other policy arenas in which equity has yet to be achieved. It is always rejuvenating to hear about the work being done around the country and use that information in addressing the problems we face in our state.


NOBEL, Maxine Waters and Civil Discourse first learning that Congresswoman Maxine Waters was scheduled to speak at the NOBEL Conference, I couldn't wait to see her. Rep. Waters is a fearless leader that has earned a reputation for being an outspoken advocate for her constituents. I can relate! She was recently criticized for telling folks at an immigration rally to protest members of Trump's cabinet. In a tweet, Donald Trump warned Waters to "be careful what you wish for". Yet, she didn't encourage violence, as Donald Trump has so many times before. Does "kick the crap", "Get 'em out of here", or "I'd like to punch him in the face" ring a bell? All of those statements can be attributed to Mr. Trump.

During the conference, we were informed that Waters would no longer be attending due to a "serious death treat". She canceled events in Texas as well.



Intern Spotlight

This week’s intern spotlight will be written by Danny Farber, a communications intern in my Madison office. Danny will be writing about Chris Thone.

Chris Thone is a policy intern at Senator Taylor’s Madison office. Chris comes from Osseo, Wisconsin, a of just 1,700 people in the Northwest part of the state. He is a rising junior at UW-Madison set to graduate in May of 2020 with degrees in political science and economics. Chris believes that knowledge in both of these fields will be integral if he chooses to continue a career in politics. He wanted to intern with Senator Taylor because her political views align closely with his. Also, as a policy intern he would get the opportunity to improve people’s lives through legislative action.

Public service is very important to Chris. He is currently enrolled in the Army ROTC program at UW while also being a member of the Wisconsin National Guard for the past year. After graduation he hopes to commission as a Second Lieutenant into the WI National Guard while pursuing options for either graduate or law school. Chris one day hopes to run for office on his own, where he can use the skills learned in his studies and Senator Taylor’s office to impact policy even more directly.
Chris has been a pleasure to work with and we cannot wait to see what further contributions he’ll bring to Senator Taylor’s office.



Community Action Alerts

Families Belong Together

On Saturday, June 30th, Families Belong Together protests are taking place all over the state. Information for two protests near Milwaukee are below.

Shorewood Village Hall Parking Lot to Atwater Park: Saturday, June 30th at 8:30am. RSVP here.

517 E. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53202: Saturday, June 30th at 1:00pm.  RSVP here.


The Salvation Army Opens Cooling Centers in Milwaukee County

To mark the start of summer, The Salvation Army worship and community centers are open as cooling centers, Monday through Friday and Sunday mornings.

"Everyone deserves comfort and a safe place to go during the extreme heat," said Major Steve Merritt, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Below is a list of the cooling center locations and hours:

Citadel Corps Church and Community Center
4129 West Villard Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53209
Monday - Friday: 9 a.m to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon

Coldspring Church and Community Center
2900 W. Coldspring Rd., Greenfield, WI 53221
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday:  9:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m
Friday: 9:30 a.m to noon
Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon

Oak Creek Centennial Church and Community Center
8853 South Howell Ave., Oak Creek, WI 53154
Sunday: 10 a.m. to noon

West Corps Church and Community Center
1645 North 25th St,, Milwaukee, WI 53205
Monday - Friday: Noon to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Work Continues Along Milwaukee's Valley Bridge

Please see the briefing below from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on continuing work on Milwaukee's Valley Bridge

On the evening of Wednesday, May 30, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will begin the next phase of the Valley Bridge overlay project in the city of Milwaukee. This phase will shift southbound I-43 traffic allowing for the 11th Street / Wisconsin Avenue on-ramp to I-43 south to reopen.

 As the project advances, access to certain system ramps will continue to become available. Please note that these closures are weather dependent and subject to change.

 Current long-term ramp closures:

  • I-794 West to I-43 South                                                                                          (Until Late June)
  • I-43 North to I-94 West                                                                                           (Until Late June)
  • I-43 North to 10th Street and Michigan Avenue Off-Ramp                                       (Until Late June)
  • I-94 East to I-43 South                                                                                            (Until Late July)
  • Mineral Street/National Avenue On-Ramp to I-43 North                                          (Until Late August)

The primary detour route for navigating interchange access continues to be the I-794 Hoan Bridge. For more information on closures and detour routes, visit 511 Wisconsin or visit their website.












Weekend Wellness Walk


Saturday, June 30th

8:00 - 9:00 am


Friends of Lakeshore State Park

500 N. Harbor Dr.

Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info




Downer Classic Bicycle Race


Saturday, June 30th

9:00 am-8:30 pm


N Downer Ave & E Belleview Pl, Milwaukee, WI 53211


For More Info




Vintage Car Show


Sunday, July 1st

10:00 am - 2:00 pm


Heritage Waukesha

1831 Meadow Ln.

Pewaukee, WI 53072


For More Info




Fireworks Kite Festival


Tuesday, July 3rd

11:00 am - 9:25 pm


Veterans Park

1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.

Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info




July 3rd Fireworks


Tuesday, July 3rd

6:00 pm-11:00 pm


Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
929 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202


For More Info


Fourth of July Celebration-Glendale

Wednesday, July 4th
10:00 am-9:30 pm

Kletzsch Park
6560 N Milwaukee River Pkwy
Glendale, WI 53209

For More Info


Free Admission Milwaukee Art Museum

Thursday, July 5th
10:00 am-8:00 pm

Milwaukee Art Museum
700 N. Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202

For More Info


Jackson Park Farmers Market

Thursday, July 5th
3:30 pm-7:00 pm

Jackson Park--Boathouse
3500 W. Forest Home Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53215

For More Info




Tosa Tonight Free Summer Concert

Wednesday, July 4th
6:00 pm

Rotary Performance Pavilion
Hart Park, 6650 W. State Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53213


For More Info









 Quote of the Week:

"I'm a strong black woman, and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined."

- Maxine Waters


This is an official government communication from Sen. Lena C. Taylor. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to send me an email to unsubscribe.

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